HBDHB scandal gets a whole lot worse

Hawkes Bay Today

The lead story today in the Hawke’s Bay Today is damning of Cunliffe and his actions. It also reveals a bit more of the story.

A REPORT by Audit New Zealand has given management of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board a hammering over the handing out of a $1 million contract. The report, which investigated the awarding of a contract to Wellcare Education, a subsidiary of board member Peter Hausmann’s company Healthcare New Zealand, reveals processes that were in place weren’t followed.

In the report reviewers say quality of records around the procurement of the contract were poor but nevertheless they were able to come to the conclusion that processes undertaken by management didn’t comply with the DHB’s policies or public sector good practice.

Mr Hausmann was a government-appointed board member from Wellington who was given the job by Annette King when she was Health Minister.

Fellow board members believe Mr Hausmann was having discussions with management about the contract before attending his first board meeting.

Sacked by Health Minister David Cunliffe last Wednesday, they were unaware there was a contract until one month after it had been signed.

Kevin Atkinson, who was the board’s chairman up until last week, wrote to Mr Cunliffe after he threatened to sack them and told him he needed to distinguish between management’s mistakes and the board.

“Nothing I have read in your 20 and 22 February letters indicates that the cause of your serious dissatisfaction arises out of management,’ Mr Atkinson wrote.

He told the Minister that appointing a commissioner would not change the current position, as the Audit Office’s report was directed at problems with management.

Cunliffe has sacked the board ostensibly on the weaseling of Hausmann and management when in fact it is the senior manager that should have been lined up. Name me one commercial board in the country that would tolerate an out of control a Chief Executive who doesn’t follow board directions. There aren’t any the CEO gets the sack iswhat happens.

This whole sordid mess is going to backfire on Cunliffe, Clark, King, Hausmann and Lind.